Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Sharing Hard-to-Hear Information

Carolyn Hax on

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

What's your take on deciding whether to share hard-to-hear information?

My close friend, "N," made the difficult decision to end her marriage because she wanted children and her husband said he didn't. I just found out he is engaged to another woman, who is pregnant with his child. N is still single and becoming very impatient about starting a family of her own. I hate to pile onto her stress, but if I don't tell her, she is likely to find out soon that I have known about this for some time and haven't told her.

-- Va.

Assuming you're correct that she'll find out and be upset you didn't tell her, clearly you have to tell.


Not to get too wild with speculation, but there could actually be good news in this painful package. If any of your friend's stress arises from second-guessing herself about leaving her marriage, or beating herself up for failing to foresee that the kids issue would be a deal-breaker, then this development will let her off both hooks.

That's because this news will tell her it wasn't about kids/no kids after all; it was about their just not being right for each other as a couple, probably for a lot of different reasons. She saw that he was the wrong guy and did what she had to do.

Of course, it could be the fiancee's contraception failed and the guy still doesn't want to be a dad, but that's their problem now. (Here's hoping they solve it before it becomes the kid's problem.)

Re: Ex With Baby:


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